Cyber Security vs. Software Development: What’s the Difference?

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If you have been thinking of pursuing a career in technology, you have many options to choose from. From cyber security to computer science, software development, software engineering—the opportunities are endless. In such cases, it is necessary to zoom in a little closer and compare the different positions to one another to see what fits your needs best. Maybe in the battle of cyber security vs. software engineering, the salary makes the difference, or perhaps you prefer a job that offers more employment security. Careers in technology are so diverse that there is something for nearly everyone if they do their research.

If you are curious about comparing cyber security vs. software development—read on! These two career options share some overlapping qualities, but the purpose behind each field is different. It’s all just a matter of what you prefer, so let’s dive in.

What Is Cyber Security?

Cyber security is a field of methods and processes that aim to protect computer systems, networks, and data from cyber attacks. The purpose of this field is to shield sensitive information and all other organizational assets from unauthorized access or any internal or external threat, whether they be hackers or natural disasters. Besides protection, cyber security is also responsible for creating restore options, such as cloud backup solutions, in case of complications.

Cyber security job responsibilities

Some typical responsibilities of cyber security professionals include:

  • Searching for weaknesses in hardware and software.
  • Protecting computer systems by determining the access authorizations.
  • Finding ways to secure IT infrastructure.
  • Adding firewalls into networking systems.
  • Monitoring the network for any signs of intrusion.
  • Removing potential threats or attempted breaches.
  • Identifying cyber attackers.
  • Keeping supervisors and other employees informed on security policies.
  • Helping employees with cyber security issues.

Cyber security skills

The cyber security field requires a specific skill set of technical and non-technical skills. To succeed as a cyber security professional, you need to have a good understanding of technological devices. This way, you can access databases, manage various files, use spreadsheets, and even code. Other helpful skills include programming, risk identification, reverse engineering, application design, and more.

When it comes to soft skills, some of the most important ones are communication skills, leadership skills, problem-solving, research, and writing skills.

Cyber security job outlook

cyber-security-job-outlook

Cyber security is in high demand, and according to research, it will continue to be so for a while. The unemployment rate has been 0% since 2016. Additionally, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that cyber security would experience a 31% growth rate between 2019 and 2029. This rate surpasses the average for all other occupations, so it is safe to say that this field has a bright future ahead.

Cyber security salary

Cyber security professionals have become vital assets to any business. That is why most positions in cyber security pay well. The average salary for cyber security professionals is estimated to be $76,808 per year in the United States. This salary ranges from $37k for entry-level positions to $160k for senior-level roles.

Some of the highest-paying cyber security jobs are:

What Is Software Development?

Software development is a sector dedicated to the process known as Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) that professionals use to create computer programs. Besides programs and apps, it is through this field that professionals create giant networks and underlying systems that help other programs function. There are two parts to this field, one focused on applications and the other on systems. The overall purpose of software development is to use programming and create software systems that fulfill the company’s goals.

Software developer job responsibilities

Generally, software developers are responsible for:

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  • Analyzing the company or user’s needs.
  • Designing and developing software systems.
  • Testing out new software programs.
  • Identifying the program’s areas in need of upgrading.
  • Developing modifications for programs that need them.
  • Managing software systems.
  • Coding.
  • Training other employees to work with the programs they have created.

Software development skills

software-development-skills

When working in software development, you need to enhance a few skills necessary to succeed in this position.Your skill set should include programming and algorithm skills, database skills, cryptography, and analytical thinking skills.

In addition, some soft skills will be helpful as well. Focus on improving your communication skills, critical thinking, adaptability, project management, problem-solving, and collaboration skills. By effectively interacting and working with other people, you speed up the development process.

Software development job outlook

Software development is also a field that is high in demand. The projected increase in employment from 2019 to 2029 is 22%. Once again, this is much faster than the average 5-8% growth rate for most jobs.

Software development salary

The average estimated salary for software developers in the United States is $96,087 per year. The salaries range from $67k for entry-level positions to $137k for senior-level roles. The exact salary oftentimes depends on various factors such as industry, location, and professional experience.

Cyber Security vs Software Development

Both cyber security and software development require highly skilled professionals and have some similar required skills, yet they are different from one another. Software developers build software, whereas cyber security works to protect that software from attacks. They also differ in other aspects such as employment growth rate, salary, and job responsibilities. Although each job is lucrative and has a promising forecast concerning demand, the cyber security position offers better chances of getting hired in comparison to the software development one.

So, which one is better? We’ve gathered all the facts, it is now up to you to decide.

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